By guest author Matthew Humphries. Alongside writing for PCMag, Matthew is a video game designer and co-wrote the book Make Your Own Pixel Art (available at all good book shops). Before joining PCMag, he spent 14 years writing and editing for Geek.com, and before that, nearly founded a social network while Mark Zuckerberg was still struggling through puberty. He can probably fix your PC and will grab any opportunity to build a new one.
If you thought Microsoft buying Bethesda for USD 7.5 billion was a huge deal, brace yourself, because Microsoft just announced its intention to acquire Activision Blizzard for USD 68.7 billion.
The all-cash transaction will see Microsoft gain control of some of the most popular gaming franchises including Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, Call of Duty, Candy Crush, and Major League Gaming esports. Microsoft is also keen to point out that Activision Blizzard games will be heading to Game Pass as soon as the deal is finalized.
It’s not only gaming IPs Microsoft will gain control of, though. Activision Blizzard owns a number of high-profile development studios including King, Treyarch, Raven, High Moon, Beenox, Sledge Hammer Games, Infinity Ward, Demonware, and Toys for Bob.
Of course, there’s a chance this acquisition may hit a few stumbling blocks before it’s complete. Microsoft needs to gain the approval of Activision Blizzard shareholders, pass a regulatory review, and the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions. However, it would be more surprising if the deal fell apart, especially considering the amount of cash Microsoft is offering.
According to a company email sent out by Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, the deal will be done in Microsoft’s fiscal 2023 year, which means before June 30, 2023. Until then, Kotick states the company will “continue to operate completely autonomously.”